Sophie & Erik / by Kimm Otto

So here’s what happened: I spent a year traveling, all the while doing my best to photograph and document all the memorable places and people I met along the way. And then when I got home I was burnt out and completely overwhelmed with the amount of content I had to sort through.

Norway

With more pressing issues at hand like starting to work again and essentially refurnishing a home from the ground up, almost all the wonderful photos I took were banished to the land of digital storage where they sat with other half completed projects, like my trip to New York City in September and various wedding photos that didn’t quite make the cut.

Norway
Norway
Norway

It’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been home though and am just now starting to make strides with sorting through and compiling a cohesive/fluent projection of my year abroad.

Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway

These particular gems are brought to you from Norway (shocker), one of my favourite countries. The lovely individuals you see in these photos are Kevin (of course), Sophie and her partner, Erik. We picked these two up when they were hitchhiking somewhere in Central Norway and we ended up driving with them for nearly five hours. We were heading North anyway and were excited to get an insider perspective on Norwegian culture given that we had been there for almost a month by that point.

Norway
Norway
Norway

We chatted about the usual things: food, music, differences and similarities between Norwegian and Canadian culture. When we dropped them off they ended up inviting us up to Erik’s grandfather’s cabin located on the most gorgeous and secluded peninsula just below the Lofoten Islands, which is where we were heading.

Norway
Norway
Norway

They introduced us to things like cloud berries and Norwegian brown cheese, seemingly small things to them I’m sure but something Kevin and I still reminisce over. We ended up staying with them for a few days. One of those days was spent hiking a trail that Erik had done a bunch with his family growing up. You park one car on one side of the mountain, and another car on the other side, and then basically just trek from one side over to the other. You can actually see the peak we climbed over in the first few photos.

Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway

They views were spectacular, I mean of course they were. Norway is all kinds of epic. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Norway is basically British Columbia on steroids. One side of the mountain was beautiful, sunny and the perfect temperature for hiking. And then just as we began to approach the peak, a waterfall of cloud began to creep over the ridge. It was daunting and yet so incredibly bad ass at the same time.

Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway

It was such a surreal moment when we got to the top. Just standing on the divide of two completely different elements, descending into the texture of the clouds and then the tactical waiting between breaks of visibility in order to make it to the next trail marker.

Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway

Around half way we took a break at yet another adorable cabin that Erik’s grandfather had helped build. With how heavy and thick the clouds were rolling in on us, it was actually the most perfect place and time to have lunch, hydrate and regroup.

Norway Cabin
Norway Cabin
Norway Cabin

Despite the impending crapshoot of weather it was neat experiencing the infamous cabin culture of Norway. It was great having such an authentic adventure with two locals, as well as hearing about some of the logistics of building a cabin on the side of a mountain. Could not imagine doing that hike with lumber and building supplies, just saying. Once we got inside we signed the guestbook, admired the craftsmanship of the structure were were grateful to be sheltered in, and then eventually continued our decent.

Norway
Norway Cabin
Norway Cabin
Norway Cabin
Kevin & Erik
Norway Cabin
Norway Cabin

The second half of the hike was much different than the first. It was like climbing up one side in the middle of summer and then climbing down in the middle of an iconic Vancouver winter. This was the side where the snow run-off happened and it became quite noticeable within the first few steps. My shoes became instantly wet and it was difficult to tell the difference between solid ground and grassy swamp. But we managed. Resting and recharging at the cabin definitely helped.

Norway
Norway
Norway
Norway

It was a bit difficult to see but Erik and Sophie pointed out a few things in the landscape that we probably would have missed otherwise, like the beach we were on the previous day and our future destination of the Lofoten Islands.

Norway

To be completely honest I was a bit hesitant at first to do this hike given some of the crazy treks we had done a few weeks prior. Taking the time to go through these photos again and reflect on the adventure I’m thankful I didn’t let my laziness get the best of me. Which, let’s be real, is what happens more often than not.

Norway

But here we are again, at the end of another one of Kimm’s adventures. I hope you guys enjoyed it and look forward to the next one. Hopefully you can recognize the amount of work that actually goes into recreating these little stories and why there’s always such a large gap between posts. Even if you don’t, that’s cool too. I do this mostly just for myself anyway but am happy to share regardless.

Till next time my friends. Happy adventuring.

✌️

PS: Special shout-out and a huge thank-you to Sophie and Erik for taking us in, sharing your time and space with us, and the many smiles that came with completing that 1000 piece puzzle. Our time with you two was the perfect way to say good-bye to such a wonderful country.